> It would be good if the Japanese mobile carriers and others
> would recognize that inventing new "characters" isn't the right
> way to satisfy the needs of their customers for fancy little
> images, but as with most other stupidities in character encoding,
> it takes a while for the people involved directly to figure this
> out.
Thankfully I think they started to understand it. Recent phones have  
now lots of emojis that are just GIFs, and when you use them in mails,  
the mails are sent as HTML mail with attachments and can be read in  
any normal mail client. It also allows the users to easily add (or  
even create) new ones. However if the mail is sent to an older phone  
the image may be badly displayed.

Anyway, the problem with the existing emoji characters will probably  
stay for a long time... (unfortunately it would not be the first  
problem due to the need to keep compatibility with the existing...)